23 November 2011, 1:54pm
On Monday 21st November Ben Skirving joined forces with Aviva at the Warminster area schools tag festival held at Warminster RFC to put local kids through their paces as they continue their education up the rugby ladder. The tag rugby festival, which forms an important part of the Aviva Premiership Rugby Schools Programme, brought together over 160 children aged 8/9 and gave them the perfect opportunity to implement their newly-acquired skills in an engaging and fun environment.
In its second season, the Aviva Premiership Rugby Schools Programme represents a significant investment (£2 million) by Aviva into the grass roots level of the game. Resources will go towards supporting over 1,200 teachers in 650 schools across the country whilst also providing all the kit necessary to play tag rugby. Aligned to the national curriculum and PE syllabus and designed to unearth the next generation of rugby stars, the number of children who will have taken part in the scheme by the end of this season is enough to fill Twickenham stadium.
In addition, one school from each Aviva Premiership Rugby club region will qualify for the Finals at Twickenham and will play ahead of the teams competing at the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final there on Saturday 26th May.
Ben Skirving said: "All the kids played their hearts out today and I was seriously impressed with their skill levels. It's hard to imagine that most have them have only just started playing rugby! The Aviva Premiership Rugby Schools Programme is perfectly suited to bringing out all the core skills young players need and I'm sure some of these kids will be playing at the highest level sooner rather than later."
James Newbery, teacher at Heytesbury Primary said: "The children were absolutely thrilled that Ben Skirving could come down and offer them rugby tips and advice. It's not very often that you get to share a pitch with a professional rugby player and I'm sure this will spur them on even more. The Aviva Premiership Rugby Schools Programme has been wonderfully crafted and also crucially ensures that teachers receive quality coaching to help these youngsters reach their potential."